The Wild Hare

August 4, 2011

The Wild Hare
316 White Bridge Road
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)818-0219
http://thewildharenashville.com/

The restaurant is a homey space with built-in wooden booths on the periphery and a long communal table in the middle.  The design and the conceptualization of the restaurant is meant to cater to families.  The menu offers classic American dishes at a good price point.  There are appetizers and salads to start; main course options include pizzas, sandwiches, or entrees.  Burgers are offered at half portions, for $5.5 (regular portions: $9)–a good option for kids or not-so-hungry adults.  Basic food, basic pricing makes for good family dinner pit stops, but some of the dishes were a bit too basic.

We ordered three starters, all ample in size to share: The tempura vegetables had a nice texture on the outside and the veggie insides had the right temperature and consistency–but the accompanying jalapeno gouda and onion dip seemed to undercut the dish’s lightness.  The tomato stack ($6) had mozzarella and basil with balsamic dressing. It was light an refreshing.  The fried calamari ($8) was served with a peppercorn aioli.  I appreciated the inclusion of  squid tentacles, but the dish’s taste overall was nondescript.

Our entrees, all ordered to be shared, did not get off to a good start.  After a thirty minute wait–with no explanation for the delay, the Wild Hare pizza ($8) came out.  It was undercooked, so the slices sagged in our hands as we picked them up, and the pie’s caramelized onions, bacon, and ricotta cheese just didn’t seem to come together. Our dining companions, Nick and Nora, had been before and they concluded that it was best to stay away from the pizzas.  The fried catfish ($9) had a nice, cornmeal-textured coating that contrasted nicely with the delicate fish, savory and peppery throughout.  The roasted whole chicken ($13) came halved, and was delicate enough to easily take off the bone. Some at the table liked the flavoring and moistness, though I found it to be somewhat bland.

Wines are now available.  Management has remained true to its vision–keeping the prices low, while selecting great wines, such as the Alamos Malbec ($7).  They’ve even gone so far as to carry the canned Sophia Coppola bubbly Blanc de Blancs ($8) to stay consistent with their selection of canned beers.

We went arrived at the restaurant around 6:30 when it was just beginning to fill up. When we left the lines were out the door. Get there early for a table.

For another review, see Nashville Restaurants.

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Our Latest Frequent Spot

August 1, 2011

Ginger Thai Restaurant
2861 Logan Street
Nashville, TN 37211
615-679-9555
http://www.gingerthairestaurant.com/

These days, when we don’t feel like cooking and we don’t feel like putting up with any restaurant fuss or crowds, we head to Ginger Thai restaurant, right off of Thompson Lane. The food is good, there’s never a wait, and the prices are reasonable. We’ve eaten there a number of times, tried an array of soups, main dishes, whole fish specials, and it always taste like home cooking. Last Sunday we were there for a quick lunch, and had duck soup, one of our favorites, and the house fried rice with squid (pictured below). The total for those two dishes after tax, before tip was $23. Normally, however, we pass on the appetizers.

Note: the link to the menu on their website takes a Borgesian turn and sends you to the Thai Palace in Bloomfield, CT.

P.S. As Rose, a commentator, notes below: on both sides of Ginger are amazing “International” markets. On one side is the Lanexang Oriental Market which stocks SE Asian goods and supplies provisions for Ginger. On the other side is a wonderful Middle Eastern market that provides everything from spices (at great prices) and fresh pita to Amish halal chickens.

Ginger on Urbanspoon

Local Taco

July 12, 2011

Local Taco
4501 Murphy Road
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 891-3271

Since hearing rumors that Local Taco would be opening up a  restaurant in 12th South, we decided to head to Sylvan Park for lunch. I had been there a few times but my erstwhile Fried had not. I really like the vibe there, the list of local ingredients, and seeing groups of Nashville women drinking margaritas at 12:30 in the afternoon. We ordered the Korean BBQ, the Southern Fried, and the Fish tacos. We started with tortilla chips and salsa, and had sides of rice and beans. The Korean BBQ taco tasted more Teriyaki than Korean,  topped with sesame seeds, cilantro, and a spare amount of Asian slaw. The meat was fresh and well cooked, but the taste was bland. The taco demanded some sort of Korean topping like pickled radish. The Southern Fried was good,  but it was dulled by wilted lettuce pieces. The same with the Fish taco. I am not sure why they went with tartar instead of crema, and some slaw would have been appreciated. The black beans were not to my taste, they had a strange taste and texture. We each got the lunch special, two tacos and a side for $6.75, which is a great deal because the tacos are $3.50 each and the sides $1.75.

I am not a taco purist, but these tacos needed some jazzing up. However, the fresh ingredients and the lunch prices make me want to give the place a second go.

Korean and Southern Fried tacos with rice:

Korean and Fish tacos with black bean:

 

The Local Taco on Urbanspoon

We love summers at the Nashville Farmers Market. This year the peaches have been spectacular. We are big fans of JD Country Milk for their drinkable yogurts and other delights. This week we indulged in  heavy cream. You have to get there by noon on a Saturday or else they will have sold out of most of the good stuff. This week we also bought Alabama peaches, which have more tang than the furry South Carolina peaches we’ve been eating lately. We bought them from the back shed where we also found some sweet ripe, local doughnut peaches. Those we devoured before we could take a photo. This morning we indulged in the peaches and cream with some local blueberries. It was decadent. If you go to the market check out the new Louisiana Seafood Company. Their fresh yellowtail, grouper, and shrimp have been selling out weekly.

Another Rich, Runny Cheese

November 22, 2010

We had written about Noble Springs Dairy’s “Harpeth Fleur,” and now we have found another ripe, runny cheese that is blog-worthy:  the “Green Hill” from Sweet Grass Dairy, from of Thomasville, Georgia (pictured below, right).  We purchased it at the Turnip Truck Urban Fare in the Gulch ($6.49 for half a wheel).  Made from “grass-based milk,” this cheese is, literally, oozing with goodness and taste.

According to pastoralartisan.com, where you can order “Green Hill” and other cheeses online:

Sweet Grass Dairy’s commitment to producing delicious and healthful milk from pasture-fed cows shines through in this small Camembert-style cheese. The unctuous paste is rich with sweet, buttery and grassy flavors. Though based on an old-world recipe, this cheese is a shining example of the finest in American artisan cheesemaking.

Korean Tacos near Vandy

November 19, 2010

Peter Chinn’s Korean Barbecue Taco
400 21st Avenue South
Nashville
www.peterchinns.com

Peter Chinn’s Korean BBQ Tacos and Burger’s move to the Vandy area from Clarksville Pike has stirred up a buzz (see, for example, comments on Eric and Kate’s post), and deservedly so.  The business logic of the move captures the concept and history of the Korean taco:  you keep the shell, maintain the form, though change it dramatically by adding Korean BBQ meats.  The old Cheeseburger Charley’s locale has maintained its basic form–from the counters and tables to the service areas, (though there has been a new paint job).  The menu has still offers the good ol’ burger, fries, and onion rings (which are noticeably better, probably because they’ve changed the frying oil).  Peter Chinn has infused life into the joint by offering Korean short rib bbq and fish tacos ($2.5), chicken and spicy pork tacos ($2), and burritos with aforementioned fillings ($5).  To top it all off, the background music was a playful variety of funk and soul.

I wandered into the joint late in the afternoon, and ordered a short rib and chicken taco.  The folks at the counter told me that business has improved quite a bit:  before the tacos, they’d do something like 80 tickets a day, but that day, at 3 pm,  I was ticket #120.  Some folks were still ordering burgers and fries, and a few came in to inquire about the tacos.  As for my tacos: the tortillas had the right combination of warmth, crispness, and texture.  I could taste the distinct marinade. The pickled cucumbers enhanced the taste of the meats, and a hint of spice gave the tacos a nice kick.

The Vandy area is in desperate need of dining spots, particularly of the non-chain type, and this is a welcomed addition.

Side note:  If you’re worried about  Vandy crowds, particularly at lunch, visit this upcoming week, since students are off for Thanksgiving.

Peter Chinn's Korean BBQ Taco on Urbanspoon

Bella Napoli

August 21, 2010

R and I decided to have lunch at Bella Napoli Pizzeria in  Edgehill village. The folks at Valentino’s on West End opened Bella Napoli this August, building on Nashville’s wave of Italian wood-fired pizza, following the likes of City House and Porta Via.  Bella Napoli is a great addition to the 12th south, Belmont, Vandy neighborhood, and to the Nashville pizza scene. The pizzeria has a large dining room and roomy outdoor seating area, with just-delivered patio furniture. I ordered the Margherita Pizza ($9). The crust was thin and crispy on the edges and the tomato sauce was tart and flavorful, not like the overly sweet sauce in American pizza. My only complaint was the sad piece of basil, wilted and brown on the corner of the pizza. I am looking forward to eating the left overs for breakfast. R had the San Gennaro panini with a healthy portion of prosciutto crudo, mozzarella, and marinated egg plant ($10). The flavors on the sandwich were great, and the eggplant was a real standout. R noted that bread was especially delicious. The side salad, mostly colorless pieces of lettuce, and the chips were a real miss. I think they should just serve the sandwich on its own. It is quite substantial.

While the place is great for lunch I think it needs to work on its atmosphere to attract dinner patrons. Also, while we were there “That’s Amore” was on repeat.

Bella Napoli on Urbanspoon